People whose arteries get blocked due to cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes may now get a quicker treatment as a high-powered laser, which unblocks arteries in minutes, has been designed in the UK.
The Turbo Elite 'drill' fitted to a new laser called the Excimer blasts tissue into particles so small they can only be seen under a microscope.
The first two patients were treated at University College Hospital in London and were discharged the next day, instead of spending weeks in hospital.
Currently, the small tube, or stent, is used to widen the artery can also become blocked.
"It's an incredibly difficult treatment to unblock an artery, especially if a patient has a stent. Before, patients had to spend up to ten days in hospital," the Daily Mail quoted Joe Brookes of the University College Hospital, as saying.
With the Excimer laser there is no need for further surgery.
Instead, the device vaporises tissue in minbloodutes with the help of ultra violet light, which delivers short bursts of energy. The light is transmitted through 30 glass filaments, which are guided through the blockage in the artery with a special catheter called the Turbo Elite.
Once the tissue has been blasted away, normal flow is restored.
Another advantage of the laser over traditional treatments is that any remaining particles are absorbed into the bloodstream and safely passed out of the body.